Accession Number:



Designing a National Security Strategy: A Memorandum for the President

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



With the collapse of communist power during the Bush administration years, the American public was subjected to much talk of a new world order, particularly as this new world order allegedly manifested itself in the international diplomatic and military cooperation over the Persian Gulf crisis. Since at least 1991, however, it has been clear that there is in fact no order at all in this new post-communist world. Old, intractable conflicts remain and new or long-buried antagonisms stifled by communist dictatorships have resurfaced in bloody ways. The world faces not a new order, but new anarchy. For the United States, this situation poses opportunities as well as a dilemma. We need no longer fear a Soviet communist threat to our survival, through either nuclear attack or diplomatic and political competition. We have more freedom to make proactive rather than reactive, strictly anticommunist, foreign policy decisions. On the other hand, we can no longer rely on the communist threat to help limit and ease our foreign policy choices. We must now reevaluate our national interests and begin to design a new conceptual framework for our national security strategy, one that helps shape a new world order consistent with our interests and values. As you stated in your inaugural address, we must work to shape change lest it engulf us. This memorandum will offer some preliminary thoughts on how we should define our national interests in this decade and what sorts of changes in international rules and institutions could help meet those interests. It will also lay out some examples of the types of difficulties the suggested changes could present.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Intelligence
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement: